Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Seven Things

1. My favorite Batman artist: Kelley Jones
2. My favorite Russian writer: Gogol
Click here to go to R. Sikoryak's Masterpiece Comics, featuring an adaptation of Crime and Punishment starring the caped crusader.

3. My favorite HOF-snubbed baseball player: Dale Murphy, Atlanta Braves 
4. My favorite burger in Atlanta: (tie) the Double Bypass Burger (two fried eggs, four slices of American cheese, five slices of bacon, with two grilled cheese sandwiches replacing the bun) at Vortex Bar and Grill and the Ghetto Burger (two-patty, bacon-chili-cheeseburger) at Ann's Snack Bar
Click here to listen to Atlanta's 1983 Top Ten Country Music hit "Atlanta Burned Again Last Night" which features a one night stand between a woman in her thirties and a seventeen-year-old boy.

5. My favorite Penny Nichols book: Penny Nichols and the Black Imp

6. My favorite debut collection of stories in 2008: Kyle Minor's In the Devil's Territory
7. My favorite Sufjan Stevens song: "The Lord God Bird"
Click here to buy the hardcover Devil Dinosaur Omnibus, featuring a giant red dinosaur and his best friend, the ape-like Moon Boy.  My god, it's impossible to resist.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Hills Like White Elephants: Matthew Rohrer

"It sounds like a boxer punching a horse
through the top half of a barn door."
from The Ideograms by Matthew Rohrer

Tin House

I've got a story, "No Joke, This is Going to Be Painful," in the current issue of Tin House, and it's the featured story on their website so you can read the entire story online.  

Friday, December 19, 2008


I listen to my Ipod on shuffle and I have an audiobook of Cormac McCarthy's The Road on there.  It is always bizarre, as happened today, when I go from The New Pornographers "All the Old Showstoppers" to a two-minute, soul-crushing section of The Road that includes the phrase, "carrying charred and anonymous tins of food in nylon nets like shoppers in the commissaries of hell," to Prince Paul's "More Than U Know."  
The audiobook version of The Road, as well as No Country for Old Men, is narrated by Tom Stechshulte and, good lord, he is awesome.  He also narrated Kent Haruf's Plainsong and Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried and Robert Stone's Dog Soldiers and the twenty-three hour recording of Edward Conlon's memoir, Blue Blood.  Basically, if you've got something tough and violent, he's your voice.  

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Keyhole: The Handwritten Issue

I'd been waiting for this one since I heard about the format.  The pride of Nashville, Keyhole Magazine, released their fifth issue, completely handwritten.  It is a wonder.  I haven't had time to read much of it yet, but the award for best handwriting goes to Jenny Hanning.  The words look like a modern font, printed by a computer.  Her two stories are, also, really great.  The ending of "Garden" is so hypnotic that I found myself saying, all day, "Three to three to three is nine.   Nine sisters which are us-we-mine."  If I were you, I'd treat myself to a holiday present of Keyhole Magazine.

Hills Like White Elephants: Julia Cohen

"Halogen lights zigzagged the canopy like leaking stars."
from "Sleep Disemboweled in This Forest" by Julia Cohen

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Word Spaces

Ryan Call, who is awe-some, asked me to write something about my writing space, along with a picture.  So I did and, true to his word, he put it up on HTML Giant (which I check about twenty times a day).  You can read it here.  

At some point, I'll write about why we named our kid Fodder-wing and hopefully it will be sincere enough that you won't think we've ruined our child's life with our fake weirdness.  Plus, it's just his middle name.  It's hidden.  He can be Griff F. Wilson if he wants.  

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lamination Colony

The brand-new, double-sized issue of Lamination Colony is now live.  I've got another section of Tommy Explained and I'm really, really excited to be in Lamination Colony, a journal that I love.  There's stuff from all-stars like Elizabeth Ellen, Brandi Wells, Ryan Call, Zachary Bush, and a bunch of other people.  It seems that Blake Butler will be changing the site after this issue and I'm interested in seeing what comes next.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Six Sentences and Seventy Two Words

I've got pieces of the Tommy project up at Six Sentences and Seventy Two Words.  

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A website

I was told, by people who take care of me, to get a website.  "Something nice, up and running by January."  This was on Monday.  I called my cousin.  We worked together at Network Computing Services at the Vanderbilt Medical Center when I was in college.  We also shared an apartment.  This was around the time when he was eating nothing but peanut butter crackers and listening to The Chemical Brothers and I was sleeping on an inflatable mattress, eating Milky Way Darks in my sleep (From age 14-22, I would sleepwalk and eat tons of candy bars and then wake up in the morning with shards of chocolate in my hair), getting really, really obsessed with The Real World: Seattle.  He is one of my favorite people in the world.

He made me this website, simple and effective and not too full of myself.  Kevinwilson.com (org, net, etc.) was already taken.  So was kevin-wilson.com (org, net, etc.).  www.tunnelingtothecenteroftheearth.com seemed too long.  You can look at the website if you want to see what people have said about the book, and it's got tentative tour dates.

Hills Like White Elephants: James Iredell

"We pulled up at the cabin, a pre-fab sentried by pines, a pair of old skis X-ing the apex of the roof, like something on a cartoon poison bottle."
from "The Cabin" by James Iredell

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I'm wrapping up my teaching for the fall semester, and it's easy to complain when you get a stack of stories about what people did during their semester abroad or a big party that results in drunken hijinx, but there was something weird going on with a faction of the beginning fiction class.

I had students turn in stories about:

a) a woman who joins an "Experience Club" where one of the exercises is to retain as much water as possible.  So she makes careful incisions all over her body, takes a day-long bath, and fills herself up with water.  Later, she and her husband have sex and the water seeps out onto the sheets.

b) a woman who moves into a house where a group of slightly insidious, wish-granting gnomes live in chicken coops in the back yard.

c) a nine year old sent from the future to assassinate a senator in the hopes of preventing a meteor from hitting the earth.

d) a minister obsessed with a strange mating dance that he read about in National Geographic who ends up buying an elephant gun and then burning down his house.

I'd like to think the Aimee Bender, Brian Evenson, Kelly Link, and Padgett Powell stories we read in class had some effect on them but they might just be a strangely-wired bunch.

Hills Like White Elephants: Jillian Weise

"Us, like a bad mix tape without slow songs."
from "Us, Like a Bad Mix Tape" by Jillian Weise

The Nuclear-Battery Baby

I've got a story, "The Nuclear-Battery Baby," in the Pocket Field Guide for Cold Weather 2008/2009 edition of The Duck & Herring Co.  It is a wonderful object to hold and to read.  There is a small hole punched in the top left corner of the journal so you can hang it on your wall when you're not reading it.  There is a recipe for Pungent Soup.  And there is a story by Eric Howerton that has the line, "My last gang, The Satin Pantomimes, had thirty-seven members.  It was doomed from the start."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Publishers Weekly

PW reviewed Tunneling to the Center of the Earth.  They were very nice.  I'll take a comparison to Sam Lipsyte any damn day of the week.

If the bad reviews come for me, I have a feeling that I will not be talking them up on the blog.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Remains And How To Inter Them

At my other, now-defunct blog, I posted about a series of recommendations by F. Scott Fitzgerald on what to do with post-holiday turkey.  A few years ago, my wife's boss gave me some photocopies from F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Note-books" and it's pretty wonderful.  Yes, yes, The Great Gatsby is the best of Fitzgerald, but I would offer this as a close second.  Here are some excerpts from the section entitled: "Turkey Remains And How To Inter Them With Numerous Scarce Recipes".  
Turkey a la Francaise: Take a large ripe turkey, prepare as for basting and stuff with old watches and chains and monkey meat.  Proceed as with cottage pudding.
Turkey Mousse: Seed a large, prone turkey, being careful to remove the bones, flesh, fins, gravy, etc.  Blow up with a bicycle pump.  Mount in becoming style and hang in the front hall.
Stolen Turkey: Walk quickly from the market, and, if accosted, remark with a laugh that it had just flown into your arms and you hadn't noticed it.  Then drop the turkey with the white of one egg - well, anyhow, beat it.
Turkey Hash: This is the delight of all connoisseurs of the holiday beast, but few understand how really to prepare it.  Like a lobster, it must be plunged alive into boiling water, until it becomes bright red or purple or something, and then before the color fades, placed quickly in a washing machine and allowed to stew in its own gore as it is whirled around.  Only then is it ready for hash.  To hash, take a large sharp tool like a nail-file or, if none is handy, a bayonet will serve the purpose - and then get at it!  Hash it well!  Bind the remains with dental floss and serve.
Turkey with Whiskey Sauce: This recipe is for a party of four.  Obtain a gallon of whiskey, and allow it to age for several hours.  Then serve, allowing one quart for each guest.  The next day the turkey should be added, little by little, constantly stirring and basting.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hills Like White Elephants: April Wilder

"And anyways, it was different inside Christiana, a foreign place within a foreign place run by stoned people: it was like steering a runaway car into a bumper-car-rink."
from "Christiana" by April Wilder

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pocket Finger

Ryan Call and his sister, Christy Call, have collaborated on a PDF chapbook, Pocket Finger, for Publishing Genius.  The first two pages alone are simply incredible and it just gets better.

My sister and I once collaborated on a short story.  She did something embarrassing and then I wrote a story about it.  It was an uneasy collaboration, resulting in much unpleasantness.

Hills Like White Elephants: Emily Frey

"Someone mistook the strawberries for weeds and they're lying on the lawn like gasping fish hearts."
from "Labor" by Emily Frey

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Do not let Wilson write..."

In response to the publication of my story in Waccamaw, my former professor, Colonel Padgett Powell, sent me an email that read, "For God's sake do not let Wilson write, in public, 'The murders made my wife and I irritable...'  Please.  I weep and tear my hair."
I attempted to make up for this lapse in grammar by telling the colonel that I had dedicated an upcoming story to him and then told him the title.  He wrote back five minutes later to inform me that the title was grammatically incorrect.  At this rate, Powell will not have any hair left.
Padgett came to our cabin a few years ago to fish and camp out and we went to Hammer's, a variety general store in Winchester that has Carhartt double knee work pants next to a pyramid of Duke's mayonnaise.  There was a random shopping cart in the middle of the store filled with Flecktarn camouflage German field caps.  If I have made a better purchase in my life, I would like to know what it is.  It was apparently designed to not fit any known human head shape.  If Padgett doesn't wear his cap for his next author photo, I'll be very, very surprised.

Hills Like White Elephants: Raymond Chandler

"From thirty feet away, she looked like a lot of class.  From ten feet away, she looked like something made up to be seen from thirty feet away."
from The High Window by Raymond Chandler


Another one of my attempts to inform people as to what the hell is going on in the rock opera Tommy is now online at Wigleaf.  I also sent them a postcard about my life in the woods and the constant interruption of animals wishing to do me harm.
The previous featured short was by Frances Gapper and it's got this incredible line: "Meanwhile Susie is murdering herself with hand gel, she'll be wanting my other kidney soon."
If you want a thousand words of something good, you can't go wrong with Wigleaf.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hills Like White Elephants: Ben Debus

"...pops his finger-joints, his hands like two bouquets of clacking knives."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The second issue of Waccamaw has arrived online.  I got real lucky and ended up in the issue with a story, "Hammer", about The Claw-End-of-the-Hammer Killer.  It's about infidelity and people getting killed with hammers.  I'm sharing space with Michael Czyzniejewski (hand transplants), Darrin Doyle (foot amputations), Laura Valeri (withcraft), Steve Cushman (Inter-Cranial Artery Anuerysm), and Sonny Brewer (Ghosthead Oak).  It's a good crowd.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hills Like White Elephants: Rhett Iseman Trull

"On my sixteenth birthday, I will use the candles/to set the basement aflame and run out laughing,/wearing smoke like a new dress."

From "The Real Warnings are Always Too Late" by Rhett Iseman Trull

Monday, October 27, 2008


I was looking at a text, Glossary of Northamptonshire Words and Phrases; With Examples Of Their Colloquial Use, And Illus. From Various Authors: To Which Are Added, The Customs of the County, and found several words I'd never heard of or definitions that I'd never encountered.

Hurk: To take out the entrails of a hare or rabbit.
Mopuses: Money (I looked around further, I love slang for money, and found this word used in Thackeray's Vanity Fair: "You, Mark, to the old gaff's mopus box!")
Mozy: Stupified with liquor.
Prickings: The footsteps of a rabbit.
Prog-box: A school-boy's receptacle for his cake.

And, though I know this word already, it's about the most perfect definition I've ever seen:
Moo: The plaintive cry of a cow.

All of this came about because I was searching for uses of the word "Pooty" after reading the story "A Better Angel" by Chris Adrian and seeing this incredible, amazing passage:

"The angel berated me for days afterward - how mild it seems in retrospect, compared with what she dished out in later years.  "How is a seducing pooty like a grand destiny?" she kept asking me, and then she'd answer her own question, and eventually she trained me to give the right answer.  "Exactly not at all," I said."  

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hills Like White Elephants: Gary Lutz

"Later, when I began making myself available to others, every body that trespassed on my bed left behind a new, unfillable furrow in my mattress. Some were more like clefts, gougings."
from "Contractions" by Gary Lutz

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Robot Melon

The new issue of Robot Melon is up.  It's very, very good.  I particularly liked "Childrey Merry" by Maria Anderson.  There are so many amazing lines in the story that it's impossible not to read it multiple times.  Jen Gann has a story, "Horsewoman" that's perfect, which I will now show every student of mine who writes a story about horses, to show them how to do it right.  And there is a poem by Juliet Cook which has the line, "Those fake moustaches don't help the robots look any more human-like."
I also have two short pieces up from my ongoing attempt to turn the rock opera, Tommy, into a novella-sized story.  I listened to that album constantly when I was in junior high and, this was before the internet, I didn't really have access to the overarching plot of the album (or the intelligence to figure it out on my own).  I couldn't tell who was supposed to be speaking and what the hell they were talking about and so I had created my own story of what was going on.  It was, not surprisingly, way, way off.  Like, not even close to being Tommy.  At all.
My favorite Who?  John Entwistle.  His nicknames were "The Ox" and "Thunderfingers".  And he wrote "Cousin Kevin" and "Fiddle About" from Tommy, which are the two most disturbing songs on the album.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hills Like White Elephants: Molly Gaudry

"...and all over the house open books facedown like week-old dead gulls."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Word: Mjolniring

At the online journal Waccamaw, I read a fantastic poem by Rhett Iseman Trull which I originally heard her read a few years ago in Greensboro.  It's called "Naming the Baby for Mark and Terra" and there is a line that reads: "What about Thor?  Can't you just picture him mjolniring down the football field, the other team parting like the sea for the divine?"  
Yes, Iseman just turned Thor's hammer into a verb.  I imagine this to work in the way that Marvel Comics' Thor would hurl the hammer and then hold onto the strap and basically be carried by the force of the throw.  Mjolniring is, in my mind, throwing yourself, without care for your body, towards your inevitable destination.
Chris Berman, instead of constantly saying, "Rumbling, Bumbling, Stumbling" when someone is tearing off a fifty-yard touchdown run, needs to start saying, "LaDanian Tomlinson is mjolniring down the field, the Eagles parting like the sea for the divine."

Hills Like White Elephants: Kelly Link

"Marly? Solange? Karla? Kitty? Siobhan? Marnie? Lynley? Theresa?  You said the names staccato, one after the other, like stabs."
from "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose" by Kelly Link

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not a Kiss in a Carload

Last night, I was rereading the first volume of Marvel Comic's The Essential Iron Man.  I grew up reading and loving the Michelinie/Layton run from the late 80's but the early Stan Lee stories are a lot of fun and the Don Heck art is, even in black and white, awesome.  In issue #64 of Tales of Suspense, Iron Man battles, once again (Jesus, they just fought a few issues ago), Hawkeye and Black Widow.  It's pretty good.  It has suction-tipped nylon line, acid-spray arrowheads, commie tintypes, and a runaway flatcar.  But the most memorable thing occurs in the last panel.  Pepper Potts throws her arms around Tony Stark while Happy Hogan's heart breaks.  The final lines of the comic read: "And now before you start thinking that you've been reading a Romance Mag by mistake, turn to the Captain America thriller which follows!  We guarantee, there's not a kiss in a carload!"
I cannot think of a better advertisement for a comic book.  What would you rather have, acid-spray arrowheads or kisses?  I thought so.
I searched for other uses of this phrase, but couldn't find anything.  It seems like a great line for a pulp novel.  However, there was a big ad campaign in the late 20's for Old Gold cigarettes where the slogan was "Not a cough in a carload," highlighting the smooth flavor of the smoking experience.  
And, oh this is good, I found a comic strip by Clare Briggs for Old Gold that shows a tobacco CEO quickly going bankrupt once Old Gold comes on the scene.  The guy then goes a little crazy and the text says, "and you're so 'het up' you just can't help wiltin' your collar."  The final panel shows the day utterly ruined, the guy clutching his throat, face red, and his young wife or girlfriend is crying in the background, saying "Boo-hoo, he never swore at me before and he usta be the nicest man."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Word: Mazuma

I have spent a lot of time, for reasons I cannot explain, looking at ads for pinball machines from the 1930's.  It takes up hours of my day but the machines are so wonderful and the ad copy is so compelling that I want to spend all the money that we don't have to buy them.
One of the better machines, made in 1937 by the Pacific Manufacturing Corporation, was called Mazuma, a word I'd never heard before.  The ad, meant to entice arcade owners to buy the machine, reads as such:
"Mazuma!  BIG Mazuma!  Stacks and stacks of glittering coins for you.  Coins that pack up big cash boxes...overflow into cabinets...pour out like jackpots when you make your collections!  Mazuma means Money to you!"
I went to the OED and, yes, Mazuma is slang for money.
I also found a great line from B. Burgundy's Toothsome Tales 33: "It came to pass that he annexed himself to a mammoth mass of mazuma."
So, if you're looking for a magician's name or a comic book villain, I offer The Great Mazuma.

Hills Like White Elephants: Michael Czyzniejewski

"This girl used to play volleyball and run for student council.  Now she looked like MTV after midnight."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hills Like White Elephants: Justin Quarry

"Their trough is empty except for pieces of orange rind strewn like busted taillights."

from an excerpt of "Heart Farm" by Justin Quarry

Monday, September 22, 2008

Some Came Running

Aaron Burch at the Hobart blog already put his seal of approval on the Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin/Shirley MacLaine movie, Some Came Running, but I finally saw it this weekend and, man, it's awesome.  Shirley MacLaine from 1955 (The Trouble with Harry) to 1963 (Irma la Douce) is the most beautiful and winning Hollywood actress I've ever seen and this role is maybe her best. Her performance is heartbreaking and nuanced, the engine that keeps the movie running.
That said, the most memorable moment for me was the strangeness of a scene where Frank Sinatra leaves the bar after first meeting Dean Martin and tosses a tip to the bartender, saying, "Buy yourself a Quonset Hut."  I did a little searching on Google Books for any other instances of this phrase but couldn't find it.  Was this a common phrase for the time period or something cooked up by James Jones (the author of the novel) or John Patrick and Arthur Sheekman (the screenwriters)?  My search did lead me to a book called How Nashville Became Music City, USA by Michael Kosser that has a quote from Lou Bradley (a music producer who helped create the "Nashville Sound") discussing the acoustics of the studio (a Quonset Hut):  "The floor was not totally dead.  The ceiling was the most dead thing there."
So, I started out wanting to steal that line from Some Came Running but now I'm going to steal that line about dead floors and ceilings.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hills Like White Elephants: Cecily Parks

"No matter/how dearly I willed my floodgates/shut, I took on water like a buckshot/dory..."

from "Beast-Lover Variations" by Cecily Parks

Monday, September 15, 2008

Incarnations of Burned Children

So, David Foster Wallace.  It's so awful to think about and so many other people are saying better things than I could hope to, so I won't go spend a lot of time talking about how David Foster Wallace was a writer I went crazy over in college, lugging Infinite Jest around sophomore year, having little to no experience with contemporary fiction, just losing my mind over how amazing it was, messy and flawed and yet so much fun to read.
Two weekends ago, I went to Atlanta to watch the Braves get hammered by the Nationals (the Nationals, for crying out loud).  My wife and child stayed with her aunt during the game and when I came by to pick them up, I found a stack of Esquire magazines from 2000 in the upstairs living room.  No other magazines in the house, just this stack of eight-year-old Esquire magazines.  I flipped through them and found DFW's "Incarnations of Burned Children" which is not a typical DFW story in terms of style, but, aside from "Lyndon", it's the one story by Wallace that I most vividly remember.  I first read the story in Esquire when it came out and was so terrified by the intensity of the story and that same feeling returned as I scanned the story.  Aside from the misstep of a single line, "If you've never wept and want to, have a child," it's perfect.  It's a ragged, exhalation of a story that is impossible to forget.
I have neglected Wallace's more recent work and aside from teaching some stories from Girl with the Curious Hair, I haven't found a way to introduce his work to my students, but he is a writer that meant a lot to me and helped shaped some of my sensibilities regarding fiction.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hills Like White Elephants: Seth Fried

"He told us about some prophet who got teased by some kids for being bald, which pissed the prophet off so bad he prayed about it until two bears came out of the woods and started smacking the kids like trout."
from "Crimes of the Century" by Seth Fried

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Word: Calenture

I read a fantastic poem a month ago called Grass Widow by Isabel Galbraith and found a word I'd not seen before. Calenture. The poem answered my questions about the word, "Sailor's delusion/The sea a green plain" and so I didn't go any further with it. Then I came across a not-so-great album by the Australian rock band, The Triffids, which was titled, Calenture. So, through Google Books, I went to the Lexicon Medicum: Or, Medical Dictionary from 1829 and found this wonderful line: "A febrile delirium, said to be peculiar to sailors, wherein they imagine the sea to be green fields and will throw themselves into it if not restrained."

I looked around some more and found reference to calenture in Moby Dick, thanks to the William Gilbert Homepage. It reads:
"These are the times, when in his whale-boat the rover softly feels a certain filial, confident, land-like feeling towards the sea; that he regards it as so much flowery earth; and the distant ship revealing only the tops of her masts, seems struggling forward, not through high rolling waves, but through the tall grass of a rolling prairie: as when the western emigrants’ horses only show their erected ears, while their hidden bodies widely wade through the amazing verdure."

So I wanted to say thank you to Isabel Galbraith for making me spend nearly an entire day of work reading about crazy sailors.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Black Angel

Watching the 1946 movie, Black Angel, last night, it took me more than an hour to realize that I had seen it before. And I had no memory of the surprise ending. This is due to the fact that, while I lived in Florida, my apartment was across the street from the Alachua County Public Library and I checked out and watched, on average, two videos a day. I saw hundreds of movies and they all blur together, especially the film noir which had similar plots and a lot of the same actors.
Nevertheless, it's a good movie, though very different from the novel by Cornell Woolrich (an awesome short story writer) that serves as the source material. Anyway, Dan Duryea (also memorable in Criss Cross with Burt Lancaster) is great as the male lead, Marty Blair. In his other films, he is the poor man's version of Richard Widmark.
And that's the only reason I wrote this entry, to say that he is the poor man's version of Richard Widmark. Oh, and that I find Peter Lorre in Black Angel to be incredibly cool and even, hmm, sexy. Peter Lorre, the rich man's Sidney Toler.

Hills Like White Elephants: Errid Farland

"Drunk Billy protected his good cave, defended his cave against interlopers with a club; with a club hit a bobcat square on the head once, like a home run. Like a home run’s how he hit the bobcat’s head."
from "Drunk Billy in a Cave" by Errid Farland

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Having Won the Lottery, James Becomes an Epicurean

Over at Thieves Jargon, you can find a story of mine, "Having Won the Lottery, James Becomes an Epicurean". If you've read my work, don't care for it, and decline to read more, check out an awesome story by Matt Bell at the same journal. Now get off my back.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hills Like White Elephants: P. Terrence McGovern

"She plays with it alone, sitting on a yoga mat on the hardwood floor, typing furiously with her thumbs, peck, peck, like two tireless chicken heads. She is typing on it now."
from "The Gadget" by P. Terrence McGovern

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hail Vulgar Juice of Never-Fading Pine

The good people at Juked just put up a story of mine, "Hail Vulgar Juice of Never-Fading Pine" which is part of series of flash fictions that I'm working on with a group of writers known formally as the Kitchen Sinkhole Collective and informally as the guys with whom I play fantasy baseball.
At the Juked homepage, I'm currently sharing space with stories by Claudia Smith (good lord, she's awesome) and Paul Griner (who wrote a collection of stories called Follow Me, that I kind of went nuts over when I was in college). I guess what I'm saying is: my proximity to these good stories makes me a lot more attractive to you, doesn't it?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hills Like White Elephants: Amanda Nazario

"She leaned back and told him she was going back to Philly tomorrow, and that Pennsylvania was shaped like a pound cake. Hugging her tight, he disagreed--he said Pennsylvania was shaped like a razor blade. "

from "United States" by Amanda Nazario

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

KHN Center for the Arts

I'm in Nebraska. Nebraska City. It's nice. I'm at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, a residency for writers and artists and composers. I was here a few years ago and got a ton of work done and then, one week into the residency, my computer went bad and I lost everything. Then I went crazy. Now I'm back and glad to get back to work on the novel, though I have to work hard to resist the urge to spend the entire time sleeping into the afternoon and then reading The Adventures of Dr. McNinja. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hills Like White Elephants: Blake Butler

"When the TV finally came back, the news stations had such backlog they began to list the names of the dead between commercials like the credits to some movie we wished we'd never seen."

"Dots of speckled paper like weird moths."

"Shards like weird birds."

"...long squirts like blue liquid pyramids descending on the yard."

"...geese like disco balls..."

from "The Many Forms of Rain ___ Sent Upon Us in Those Days Before The Last Days" by Blake Butler

Thursday, August 7, 2008


The fourth issue of Keyhole Magazine is now available for pre-order. It contains work by T.J. Forrester, Jon Gingerich, Eugene Gloria, Jessica Hollander, Jason Huskey, Jason Jordan, Ilan Mochari, Karen Neuberg, Michelle Orange, Noel Sloboda, Jeff Wallace, and me. The cover, which is incredible, was done by Sarah Stanley.

Hills Like White Elephants: Junot Diaz

"She waits for you on the stoop, and when you pull up in her Saturn and notice the journal in her hand your heart plunges through you like a fat bandit through a hangman’s trap."

from "Alma" by Junot Diaz

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Songs in the Key of Being Angry

The excellent online magazine, Word Riot, recently published one of my flash fictions, which can be found here. All credit for this story goes to Samuel Worland-Esquith, who seems unaffected by other writers stealing his material.

The Wonderful Sound of My Own Voice

If you'd like to take it easy and let someone else do the reading for you, you can hear a recording of a reading that I gave in June at the New York Public Library. Thanks to the kindness of Brock Clarke and The Cincinnati Review, I was allowed to read for CLMP's "Periodically Speaking" series along with poet Tara Betts and non-fiction and fiction writer Maureen McCoy. I may sound nervous but that's a failing of the recording equipment; my voice, when I choose to speak, is heavy with confidence (if you were in attendance, you can back me up here).

Thursday, June 26, 2008